Recently, we wrote a detailed overview of La Aurora cigars, which covers its history and manufacturing techniques. Therefore, I decided to start exploring its cigars in detail.
In this article, you will discover the La Aurora 1903 Emerald as I review it according to the following considerations:
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- Brand: La Aurora
- Range: 1903 Emerald
- Reviewed Vitolas: 5 x 54 “doble figurado” Perfecto
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown Sumatra
- Binder: Barrel-aged Dominican Cibao Valley
- Filler: Barrel-aged Dominican Cibao Valley, Peru, Brazil, Nicaragua
- Factory: La Aurora, Dominican Republic
- Handmade: Yes
- Body: Medium
- Estimated Smoking Time: 40 – 50 Minutes
- Pricing: $21 / Single [Buy Now]
As we detail in our La Aurora overview, the factory originally produced perfecto cigars that were then referred to as its “Preferidos” range. Today, they are still made by the factory but now bear the name of when it first launched its production at the beginning of the 20th century. Several blends are available and La Aurora has introduced additional vitolas, too.
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La Aurora 1903 Emerald Prelight Experience
- Wrapper Hue: Medium Brown
- Rolling Consistency: Straight
- Spring: Firm
- Foot & Body Aromas: Hay, Sweet, Barnyard
- Dry Draw: Ideal
- Flavours: Earth, Hay, Sweet
Featuring barrel-aged Cibao Valley tobacco from the Dominican Republic in both the filler and binder, the 1903 Emerald is wrapped in Ecuadorian sun-grown Sumatra leaf. It results in a nice brown hue and the roll is very consistent throughout its perfecto shape. It features a nice spring without being too hard.
The sheen is medium and there are a few protruding veins. When it comes to pre-light considerations, such as the dry draw, as well as the smell of the cigar, I’m getting some hay, some sweet notes, a little bit of barnyard, as well as on the dry draw, a little bit of earth as well.
La Aurora 1903 Emerald Review
In order to ensure a fair evaluation, at least three cigars were smoked for this review. Meanwhile, they were prepared beforehand by spending three weeks in a Boveda acrylic humidor to properly acclimate for a period of three weeks.
1st Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Earth, Leather, Cinnamon Spice
- Retrohale: Earth
Within the first few minutes, it definitely feels like a medium body smoke to me, maybe erring a little bit on the fuller side. The body’s quite medium doesn’t have a tremendous amount of smoke output.
However, the flavor is very rich and deep. I get a lot of earthy notes, some oaky notes, as well as a touch of cinnamon sweetness and spice to it as well. And on the retrohale at the moment, it’s just quite an earthy flavor.
2nd Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: LeatherOils, Sweet Oak, Mild Spices
- Retrohale: Oak
The flavor profile has stayed relatively consistent, but it has developed nevertheless. There is a nice story evolving here. As you can see in the photo above, the ash backbone is very strong and consistent. The burn line has evened up very nicely.
What I have noticed is there’s an oily leather mouthfeel that’s creating quite a nice harmony with the blend itself. I didn’t really experience this sensation during the first third. I’m still getting that oakiness, but it has developed an additionally sweet characteristic. On the retrohale, it’s oakier now as opposed to being somewhat earthy during the first third.
Final Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Earth, Sweet Raisin, Oak Spice
- Retrohale: Oak Resin
Even into the final third, it remains in the medium to medium-plus strength level and the same can be said of the body. What has developed really nice is a raisin sweetness. Nevertheless, it’s a tart sweetness and a development that I enjoyed.
The overall earthy, oaky, profile continues with a hint of spices. Meanwhile, I’m very much enjoying the way the oily mouthfeel interacts with the flavour, which has increased in intensity throughout the final third.
- Ash Backbone: Strong
- Burn Angle: Straight
- Temperature: Cool
- Draw: Ideal
- Final Smoking Time: 45 Minutes
Having smoked a number of these cigars, I’ve been very impressed with the overall construction. The perfecto is a very difficult shape to roll and can have a varying burn. Although the burn line is a little bit wavy, it’s always managed to even itself out.
Therefore, I’m overall very impressed with the construction of this relatively difficult shape and I’m not surprised that it’s one of the brand’s specialties.
The cigars are delivered in an eight-count box, which features extremely attractive graphics on the box as well as embossing on the wood. Open the box and you’ll be greeted by eight very nicely presented Tubos. You’ve got the La Aurora lion embossed in the centre and you can see that the tubos are quite substantial as they each contain a 5×54 perfecto cigar.
Inside, you’ll also find a nice little bit of information from La Aurora, which adds a premium boutique touch. This card lists the product name, the lot number, when it started aging in the cedar room (June of 2019), when the cigars were packaged, their release date, and then the final approval by the manufacturer itself.
When we look at the cigar, we can see that the very nice Perfecto shape is nicely framed by the oval band. Once taken off, you’ll notice its rich embossing, which again contributes to the premium feel of the cigar.
As it is a more premium cigar, I’d say I would definitely reserve the 1903 Emerald for special occasions. I’d suggest a wedding thanks to the fantastic presentation. Indeed, it’d be great to open this box and offer some to your guests. Since they’re tubos, they don’t necessarily have to be smoked right away thanks to the added protection. They’d also be nice keepsakes afterwards.
Alternatively, if you’ve had a fancy dinner and are going to retire to a cigar lounge, this cigar would be an excellent choice. Bear in mind that its recommended retail price is $21 per single. Meanwhile, a box of 8 is offered at an RRP of $168.
La Aurora 1903 Emerald Pairing Recommendations
As I smoke the cigar, I find that it produces a dry sensation. Therefore, you can extend this with something that’s a bit salty or briney, such as salted peanuts or potato chips. These aren’t formal but are very effective.
Meanwhile, you could opt for a seafood dinner instead, which will likely be more fitting. Otherwise, consider contrasting its tart mouthfeel with a sweet dish or something sour to encourage salivation.
Similarly, and given its additionally characteristic earthiness, I would probably opt for something that’s quite sweet. Personally, I’m more of a rum drinker and since it’s a Dominican cigar, I’d likely consider a local expression like the Brugal Leyenda. Alternatively, the Flor de Caña 12 or 18 are both great choices.
If you’re looking for a wine or champagne suggestion, I would suggest that a sweeter Demi-Sec sparkling wine or above. As for wine, a smooth Californian Pinot Noir would complement its earthiness. If you prefer old world wines, try a Côtes du Rhône Villages or Crozes Hermitage.
Overall, expect a medium to full profile dominated by earthiness and a slight undertone of spice that develops into a sweetness towards the end of the smoking experience. One of my favorite things about this cigar is the overall mouthfeel and harmony on the palate.
It also is a great cigar in the premium range so it will be good to give out as a gift in the aforementioned example of a wedding, for instance. Personally, the perfecto shape isn’t typically a go-to vitola for myself as I usually prefer straight parejo cigars.
However, the construction, even burn, and overall life cycle of the cigar has really won me over. Additionally, it comes in two additional vitolas: a robusto and a toro. Consequently, I’ll definitely be checking those out in the future and will probably make this something that sits in my humidor ongoing.
"An excellent specimen of a premium cigar that lives up to its rich Dominican heritage."
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